paiN Gaming emerge victorious at ESL Challenger Melbourne 2022

ESL Challenger at DreamHack Melbourne 2022 is over with paiN Gaming taking the first place. After having a superb group stage, the Brazilians managed to keep the good form going in the playoffs bracket and they will participate in the EPL Conference S17 thanks to their achievements, and secure the $50,000 championship prize.

It was a great performance from paiN Gaming, they were able to win the tournament without losing a single series. In their path to glory, they took down Imperial Esports twice: once in the group stage and once in the grand finals. In the end, Imperial was the only team that could take away a win from paiN Gaming at all.

A successful group stage for paiN

Group A was very interesting: the Chinese Wings Up lost their first game against OG, but managed to take down Evil Geniuses who was defeated by Entropiq 16-4. Wings Up continued with another 2-0 victory to finish the group second right after Entropiq, eliminating two strong teams.

However, paiN and Imperial didn't let any upset happen in their group. They won their first games with confidence, and faced each other in the group final.  paiN Gaming's Dust II proved to be too strong for Imperial, defeating them 16-5, following up a 12-3 advantage from CT side. Imperial managed to defeat Oceania representative Greyhound next to make it to the playoffs.

The Brazilians continued to dominate the playoffs bracket. Imperial Esports started with a 16-11 win on Overpass and finished with a 16-6 win on Dust II to move on to the finals. paiN Gaming defeated Wings Up 2-0 with an overtime victory on Nuke. Although paiN struggled more, they were still the favourites against Imperial.

Three game long grand final

paiN Gaming started with a 9-6 advantage on Overpass but was answered by Imperial quickly, and they had to go through overtime to secure the win. Imperial tied the series on Nuke, but paiN finished it on Dust II with 16-12 and secured the $50,000 prize. Imperial also took $20,000 as consolation, but they will have to try other ways to make it to ESL Pro League Conference S17.

Looking at individual performances, we can clearly see that Imperial's legendary player FalleN and chelo tried hard to get it done against paiN. FalleN's 64-51 K-D and 74.4 average damage per round got him 1.18 Rating 2.0, the highest in the series.

However, he was met by a strong individual excellence by biguzera, paiN Gaming's star rifler.  biguzera's confident performance shows that paiN Gaming will not have problems if they need someone to step up in the following tournaments, you can trust them.

paiN Gaming's invincible story will continue in EPL Conference Season 17, and they will be one of the strongest teams in the competition, almost certain to take an ESL Pro League slot if something horrible doesn't happen. They are on their way to claiming the "best of the rest" with their performances so far this year.

ESL Pro League Conference Season 17 is coming

Even without their success in Melbourne, paiN Gaming would still make it to EPL Conference thanks to their victory at ECL S41 North America. After Movistar Riders in ESL Challenger Valencia, they secured a ticket simultaneously with Team Falcons from Europe and Rare Atom from Asia-Pacific. Thus, we don't know for sure what will happen to the EPL Conference slot this tournament offered: even Imperial might take it. It isn't clear in the rulebook right now.

We will be waiting for the next 12 teams to join from numerous competitions like ECL or regional championships in France, Turkey, Germany and more. The final sixteen will compete in a double-elimination bracket. It will be an offline tournament but we don't know the where and when yet. There will be six EPL slots up for grabs, so teams will bring their best there.

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